10 Signs You're in a Toxic Relationship

It’s never easy to come to terms with the fact that you may be in an unhealthy relationship—especially when it started off so well. Everyone wants a love like you see in the movies, but the reality is that life hits you, infatuation wears off and you begin to see the person you’re with for who they really are. You start to ask yourself “When did it all go wrong?” and “How can I fix our relationship?”

It’s never easy to just walk away—after all, you may still be in love with this person. However, your mental health is a priority, and if you feel it deteriorating due to a relationship, it may be time to call it quits.

1. You always feel guilty

Relationships where blame is put entirely on one person are emotionally abusive. Feeling guilty or even responsible for your partner’s actions are a red flag. Some other common forms of guilt include making you feel responsible for their happiness or will to live.

2. Unpredictable behavior

Walking on eggshells in fear about how your partner may react to something you do or say is such an unhealthy trait in a relationship. The whole point of a relationship is to feel safe and comfortable being your complete self. Holding back how you truly want to act is toning down your personality. Be with someone who loves you exactly the way you are.

3. Manipulation

Have you ever expressed how you feel about something only to be the one apologizing in the end? Wait, what? So, you’re telling me that your partner somehow twisted the story and emotionally manipulated you into feeling like you did something wrong? That’s inexcusable and quite frankly it’s exactly how abusive people handle problems. They can’t own up to their wrongdoings, so they play the victim card and place it back on you. Classic.

Some other forms of manipulative behavior can also involve sexual abuse. This isn’t your typical hold-you-down and force you to do it, but more so getting in your head and making you feel guilty for not doing it. 

4. Excuses, excuses, excuses

With toxic people, there’s always an excuse and there's always a reason they acted a certain way. Whether it's as lighthearted as a bad day or as deep-rooted as a traumatic past, let me tell you this: no one’s bad day or horrific past excuses their wrong actions.

5. Betrayal

Betrayal can come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. The biggest form of betrayal is, of course, cheating—which under any circumstance is never okay. Imagine putting so much faith and effort into one person, only to find out they’ve been unfaithful. Yeah, it’s heartbreaking. Betrayal can also come in other forms too, such as lying or insincerity.

6. Belittling

Belittling is usually a verbal form of abuse. Name calling, putting your partner down, making fun of them and being unsupportive can all be forms of belittling. Your partner should be your number one supporter and should always have your back. Name-calling, brushing off your successes or making you feel stupid is not a form of love. You treat the people you love with respect.

7. Inconsistency

While in a long-term, healthy relationship, you should never fear that the other person is just going to change their mind. While in some cases this happens—and it’s not always toxic—sometimes it can be. People change their minds all the time, however, you shouldn’t be in constant fear or stress that your partner will leave. If you have one of those up-and-down, rollercoaster ride relationships that lack consistency, it’s probably not healthy. Healthy relationships don’t feel the need to break up and get back together several times. You work things out and move forward.

8. Irrational

Someone with irrational behavior is most likely not mentally stable, and it will become hard to speak logically with them. They’ll act out in ways they see fit and are laser focused to fulfill whatever need or emotion they are feeling at that current moment. Some examples of this could be anger toward a situation that has yet to happen, exaggeration when expressing emotions, unrealistic expectations, irresponsible habits and much more.

9. Possessiveness

It’s girls' night and you and your friends are ready for a night on the town. But wait—let me check with my boyfriend really quick. Oh yeah...sorry girls, I can’t go anymore.

Your significant other is not your parent. You are an adult. You are allowed to do and wear whatever you want. Anyone who tries to tell you different is possessive. Possessiveness stems from insecurity or lack of trust—both things you should have in a relationship.

10. Anger

And I saved the best for last. Anger is hands down the most toxic trait to carry not only in a relationship but to anyone. Anger is a powerful emotion that causes many of the unhealthy traits listed above. Obviously, everyone gets angry sometimes. That's not the anger I’m talking about. I’m talking about the yelling, punching walls or any sort of physical abuse stemming from anger is toxic. If you feel intimidated, scared or unsafe due to the actions of your partner, it may be time to rethink things. Your relationship should be a safe haven, not a place of fear.

Although I understand each relationship is different and people have flaws, it's important to recognize the danger of toxic traits in a relationship. Dealing with any of these traits can cause a lot of resentment and pain.

I understand it may be hard to walk away from someone you love. Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your head already knows. I know that from my own personal situation. However, the right person for you will not carry the traits above, and you will feel safe and loved. True love doesn't hurt. True love is respect and support, not anger, jealousy and rage.

If you ever feel unsafe in a relationship but don’t know where to turn, never hesitate to use the domestic abuse hotline: 1-800-799-7233

You can also contact the emotional abuse hotline: Text CONNECT to 741741.

Your safety and comfort matter. You matter. Don’t let a relationship ever take that away from you.

For more information on domestic and emotional abuse, click here. 

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